Despite the copyright issues associated with using Pinterest, many artists believe cultivating a presence on one of the fast growing social media platforms on the net is worth the risk. . . provided you remember to respect the copyrights of others on Pinterest.
If you, like others, want to embrace Pinterest but aren’t sure what kinds of boards to create, try setting up one or all of the following boards on your page:
1. Market research boards
Branding isn’t just about what you want customers to perceive your art to be, it’s also about what your customers say your art is. Using Pinterest as a marketing and research tool makes perfect sense!
By paying attention to which pieces your followers re-pin, which pieces they “like,” and which pieces receive the most comments, you gain a better understanding of the market and what they like or dislike in artwork trends.
Lori Del Genis, Director and Dressmaker of Conscious Elegance Handmade Eco Wedding Dresses, believes Pinterest has the potential of being a great, cost-effective, research and marketing tool and she plans to take full advantage of it.
“I create and design eco-friendly wedding dresses,” says Lori. “I’m creating a board showcasing pictures of gowns with elements I’d like to incorporate into my next collection.”
“Since Pinterest allows for comments, I’m going to ask my followers to tell me what they think of these elements so that I can find out what’s going to be popular next season. . . from a ‘grassroots’ viewpoint.”
2. Shared community boards
Web designer and social media trainer, Dotty Scott, believes one of the best ways to bring attention to your Pinterest account is to create a community board.
Dotty says to ask yourself, “Is there a group of artists with something that ties the art together, yet the art is different?” In other words, invite artists who you admire to share your board, but who are not in direct competition with your own style of art.
“What this does is create a board that appears less like a blatant sales page,” says Dotty. “And it exposes your board to more people. Each member of the community gets that board posted in their own Pinterest account, which is then shared amongst their followers.”
The key to creating a successful community board is in the ground rules. Lay down the ground rules before posting actually begins to make sure everyone is on the same page. Not only will this prevent spamming of the board, but it will create a more cohesive feel, thus building a community everyone can be proud of.
Ground rules can be as simple as asking pinners to post one personal art piece per day to making sure they ask you before they invite any of their artist friends to join in the posting fun. And though it goes without saying, make sure they understand that you only want them pinning images they have the legal rights to share.
3. Niche-specific boards
Laura C. George, Business Coach for Creatives, suggests that you “make boards with more specific topics.”
“Boards like ‘My Art’ or ‘Things I Like’ can easily clutter up a Pinterest feed,” says Laura. “You want to create boards that allow people to pick which boards interest them.” Doing so means Pinterest users are “much more likely to follow some of your boards” than none at all.
Courtney Kettmann, Community Manager of Viralheat agrees.
“You want to set up boards by topic rather than a general board with the artist’s work,” says Courtney. “Boards could be categorized by medium, texture, style, color, etc. and then the artist’s work can be blended in with other art found on the web.”
Courtney also suggests “including a board just about the artist; complete with professional headshots and behind-the-scenes photos of the artist working on his/her craft.”
“Don’t be scared to post works-in-progress and behind the scenes photos,” says Laura. “You can link these to your store or website as you normally would, but they don’t feel as icky sales-y as constantly showing off the work you have up for sale.”
“Plus, you get the added benefit of showing people that you’re human,” continues Laura. “People like to see the story behind art and even the mistakes and difficulties you might be having while working on a piece. It helps them connect with you, making it much more likely they’ll purchase from you.”
4. Always-changing boards
Catalyst Product Manager Virginia Cofer of Princeton Artist Brush Co. suggests that you take the time to get creative with your boards. “I’m constantly rearranging the boards, changing cover images, and adding new images/links” to keep followers returning.
She also suggest that while you may want to share something from one of your boards, onto your Facebook fan page, and vice versa, you don’t want to do too much copying. In other words, “don’t get lazy. . . it takes a bit of work, but it clearly shows you care about your followers” when you avoid duplicate content.
5. Sales-free boards
“Pinterest is a visual resource,” says Virginia Cofer. “Pinterest is about inspiring and engaging, not pure salesmanship.”
Because of that, you’ll want to limit your use of price tags and sales copy, and just make it a fun experience. People who are properly intrigued will search out more details about your artwork on their own.
So what are you waiting for?
Go set up your Pinterest boards! And remember, if you focus on what your users want to see, and how to make things interesting and fun for them, you’ll do just fine!